Who wants to talk? 0
The public education event offered-up on June 6 by the Substance Use Strategy Network was an enriching experience for the handful of people who showed-up to get more information on opiate addiction treatment.
The format was great. Four educated, informative speakers representing doctors, nurses and the Peterborough police took their turns sharing their first-hand experience and knowledge.
I learned so much.
Less than two hours resulted in six pages of detailed notes and some insightful discussion.
The SUSN group is doing their best to ensure that the correct information is shared with the community regarding addiction and treatment options. We now have an operational addiction treatment centre on Hastings Street as well as another pharmacy that continues to offer "oral observed administration" of methadone on our main street.
The advertising for the panel asked for people to come and learn more about how this form of treatment works. It offered to share the rules and regulations that are in place for opiate dependence clinics and there was also a strong focus on how these clinics impact policing.
The advertising also encouraged everyone to bring their questions.
And so, on June 6, as the panel sat at their table, ready to share and ready for a potential attack- there was nothing.
A handful of people showed-up and most there were already well aware of the benefits of treatment and well aware of the desperate need our community has regarding access to this medical service.
The reaction of the panel and the organizers was one of polite dismay.
It might be a hopeful sign that the community stayed home because we've come to understand the need for this medical service and because we want to help our friends, family and neighbours get help.
It might be a hopeful sign that we've done our homework and we're happy that help has finally arrived. Or it could be apathy.
And the public staying home is one thing but for the members of Bancroft council who just passed a by-law placing controls on future clinics, they might have wanted to show-up, if only to support Wayne Wiggins who was left on his own to defend the town's decision.
Wiggins did a good job explaining council's decision and he also made a concerted effort to learn what he could. He did this at the last SUSN workshop and without a doubt, he knows that he needs to learn more.
So while Wiggins was a party of one, the Bancroft OPP were a total no-show. And according to organizers, they were invited.
Let's hope that everyone stayed home to watch the hockey game because we've done our homework and because we support harm reduction and because we're going to do our best to make this work.